Category: Book Reports
Book Report: The Vine Basket – Fiction for grades 4 – 8 – $1.99 0 comments

Reading this book reminded me of the freedoms that I enjoy every day are not available to everyone around the world.
The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley tells the compelling story of fourteen-year-old Mehrigul, a Uyghar (Turkic ethnic group) who lives in a remote region in northwest China.
Mehrigul cares for her younger sister and must do her older brother’s chores as well as her own since her brother had to leave after protesting against the Communist government. She fears being forced to work in a Chinese factory in a far-away city.
An opportunity comes to weave baskets for an American woman. Mehrigul faces many challenges to making the baskets and falls short of her goal. She feels all hope is gone and she will be sent away from her family.
Mehrigul is a well-developed character in the story who cares for her aging grandfather and her young sister with compassion. She wins the hearts of readers quickly. The story is suspenseful as Mehrigul must weave her baskets in three weeks while obstacle after obstacle prevents her from working.
Written for middle-grade readers, this novel is appropriate for anyone over the age of 10. Knowing what people under political oppression must face will enlighten all of us.
Buy the novel today while it is selling for only $1.99.

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Book Report: Hailey Twitch is Not a Snitch 0 comments

Hailey Twitch is curious young girl who likes to have fun – which leads to all kinds of trouble.
Hailey knows she won’t be having much fun when she is assigned Addie Jokobeck as partner for the international foods festival because Addie is a rule monger.
Then, Hailey discovers Maybelle, a sprite who lives in her dollhouse. Maybelle is on probation from the Kingdom of Magic until she learns how to have fun.
Maybelle’s idea of fun, however, seems to be causing all sorts of problems for Hailey. When the list of partners for the international festival gets thrown in the trash, it looks like Hailey may suffer the consequences.
This is a funny book with wonderful drawings. The ending was more of a set up for the next book in the series rather than a satisfying conclusion. Hailey is in 2nd grade, although this chapter book is probably better suited for third and fourth grade readers. I got the book when it was offered free. The price is now $5.38.
Click here to purchase Hailey Twitch Is Not Snitch

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Book Report: Holly’s Heart, Volume 1 – Five Novellas by Beverly Lewis 0 comments

Five stories about Holly and the trials of being a teenager: Best Friend, Worst Enemy; Secret Summer Dreams; Sealed With a Kiss; The Trouble With Weddings; and California Crazy. The storylines are for the young teen audience yet older teens would also enjoy this book. All five novellas are in one e-book file for $9.99.

Her mom calls her Holly Heart because she was born on Valentine’s Day. Her younger sister, Carrie, is her shadow and her best friend, Andie, is the exact opposite of Holly but yet they share the deepest of secrets. All the facets of a teenage world, including boys, first crushes, dads and step-dads, clothes, phones, jealousy are intertwined through the stories. When I read the stories I enjoyed the plot but also the way the author used everyday speech and happenings to bring the characters to life.

Even though I’m a middle-aged woman, I enjoyed the stories as they took me back to those days when I was a care-free teenager and how small things could become large crises. This would make great summer reading for any teen.

Click here to purchase Holly’s Heart, Volume 1
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If you read this volume quickly, there are several more books of Holly’s Heart novellas:
Holly’s Heart, Volume 2 ($9.99 for 5 novellas): Second-Best Friend; Good-Bye Dressel Hills; Straight-A Teacher; No Guys Pact; and Little White Lies.
Holly’s Heart, Volume 3 ($9.99 for 4 novellas): Freshman Frenzy, Mystery Letters, Eight is Enough, and It’s a Girl Thing.

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Book Report: The Five Mouse Brothers – Only 99 cents 0 comments

Book report from Dee and her children Zack, age 6, and Missy, age 2: The Five Mouse Brothers is by the obviously gifted 14 year old, Rachel Yu. We really enjoyed the fact that this was a “longer” children’s story. The story is unique, although may be a bit on the dark side for some younger readers, as the entire premise is about how one of the mouse brothers is falsely accused of theft and sentenced to different forms of death by his fellow mice.

Zack, on the other hand, loved the fact that the Mouse Brothers used their superpowers to rescue each other, and it led to a good discussion for us about family, and how family should stick together and care and defend each other if the need were ever to arise.

We also loved that the meanings to the Mice’s names were given at the end of the story, it was amazing to Zack that the Mice did not just have random names, but that they actually made sense based on the colors they wore. The cultural insight was great. I can see some kiddos wanting to memorize the Cantonese colors just to say they know them… and they would, in fact, be pretty easy for a four or five year old to memorize. 🙂

One teeny tiny nitpick… there is a misspelling of the word “sugar” (suger) on the glossary page… minor, minor, minor… but its just one of those little things that bothers me, if I’m able to find typos in a printed work.

The illustrations are great! They are wonderful in retelling the story visually, and there is no adjustment of the contrast needed here at all. Even Missy kept interested in the story (rare for her, with a story this long!) just by making sure she could examine each picture in detail.

I would recommend this book for ages 4 and up, simply due to the darker subject matter. Click here to purchase The Five Mouse Brothers for only 99 cents today.

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Book Report: Moink – Pre-School Book for only 99 cents 0 comments

What a CUTE and CLEVER book!
The book description: Join Miss Harper’s class in the wildly creative puppet show entitled Moink. All readers and listeners are encouraged to participate. The title refers to what happens to the sound that a cow and pig make when they somehow “crash” together and become a brand new animal.
Through a very simple storyline, (almost not even a story really!) Moink had both my kiddos, Zack (5) and Missy (2) giggling at the combination of sounds presented by the puppeteers.
The contrast on the pictures was a bit too dark in some spots, making it a bit hard to tell that the story is being presented by children/puppeteers, but this does not affect the overall feel of the book, (and of course, it didn’t matter at all to the kids!) The animals were clear enough, and that was the main point of the story anyway.
This is one that we’ll be returning to again, the giggle-factor is too good to pass up. Any child able to recognize his/her basic animal sounds will appreciate this one! Definitely good for kiddos as young as 18 months if they know their sounds, and possibly up to 6 or even older would enjoy it. (A fair word of warning, however, you may have sound-imitators among those in the older bunch!) This story may even inspire some to put on a puppet show or two! 🙂
Enjoy! Dee
Click here to purchase Moink for only 99 cents!

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Book Report: Daniel Boone: Taming the Wilds – Only 99 cents 0 comments

This one’s definitely a classic. Originally published in the 1970s, Daniel Boone: Taming the Wilds includes language in it that we typically don’t hear these days… some might call it “politically incorrect,” with usage like “white man,” and the term “Indians” used rather than “Native Americans”… but if this doesn’t bother you, this book is still an interesting story of the adventures Daniel Boone encountered back in our nation’s history when its lands were still unbridled.

Zack loved these stories, this was definitely a book that would appeal to boys. The opening story tells of how young Daniel roamed the woods one day with a young Indian boy, and about how he wished he could be “free” and unsaddled with typical chores at home, just like the other boy. (What young boy hasn’t had those thoughts!)

My one reservation about fully recommending this book for young ones, is that there are some scenes of violence. In several scenes it describes how the Indians attacked and killed settlers encroaching on their territory. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to protecting my kiddos from that sort of thing at this age, so I read an edited version of these events. Zack still enjoyed the excitement of the moments without being burdened with unnecessary details… were he a bit older, it’d be no big deal, as the scenes are not graphic in the least, just factual. But because of those scenes, and the fact that there are no illustrations, I’d recommend this book for ages 7 and up. 🙂

This classic book is available today for 99 cents.
Click here to purchase Daniel Boone: Taming the Wilds

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Old School: Five Little Peppers 0 comments

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew – I can still see that book on the shelf of the library of my elementary school. I read the book when I was in the third grade, I believe, and the story captured my imagination. I brought the book home to read and my mom remembered reading the story when she was a child.

Mrs. Pepper and her five lively children Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie have had many hard times in the Little Brown House since the children’s father died. But no matter how tough things get, the Little Peppers always handle their difficulties with great courage and cheer. They have learned to take delight even in the smallest of pleasures because the children are sure that good times are just around the corner. One day, the Peppers meet a wealthy gentleman and his young son who will change their lives forever. Could this finally be the beginning of the good times the Little Peppers have been waiting for?

I was amazed at how resourceful the young Peppers were and how they managed to get by with so little. Discover this charming story on the Kindle for just $1.99.

Click here to purchase Five Little Peppers

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Book Review: Stories from the Bible Complete Text 0 comments

This book would be a wonderful addition to any child’s library! Story by story the familiar texts are very well retold in language easily understandable by children. Most children’s bible story books hit the highlights… you know, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, Abraham and Isaac, David and Goliath, etc. etc. etc. but this book is exactly what it says it is… the complete text, including those obscure, little-remembered stories that are still so meaningful.

A definite plus, there are instances of some necessary editing having been done, to make the stories “kid friendly”, for example, the story of Lot in Sodom, the story refers to “bad men” without adding the unnecessary (for children!) details of exactly how the men were bad from the biblical account.

It would be wonderful if there were some sort of discussion questions at the end of each story to help the child assimilate what they’ve just read/heard, but that’s something mom/dad can come up with.

There are no illustrations in this book, which is somewhat of a disappointment, seeing as the stories are wonderfully rewritten for children in mind… I definitely think having some pictures would help with the “interest” factor. Keeping that in mind, I would say this book of stories is geared more toward the 5 and up range. It is our current book for “bible time” each evening, and though it is on the long side, Zack still has not shown any indication he’d like to read anything else…! That’s a definite thumbs up!

This children’s Bible story book is nearly 300 pages long and is selling today for only $1.99.

Click here to purchase Stories from the Bible Complete Text

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Book Report: Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade 0 comments

Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade is an adorable look at little Posey’s woes and worries the summer before beginning the new-independence of first grade. Little Posey was a very believable and likable character, and the reading of this book was pretty timely for us, as Zack too, is finishing up Kindergarten and looking forward to beginning first grade in the fall.
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I feel I must qualify just a bit, however, our perspective is a bit skewed on things pertaining to school, as we homeschool. So Zack will not have to face the anxiety of being left to walk down scary hallways by himself, or meeting new teachers, etc. (We both found ourselves being grateful that we don’t have to deal with these things as Posey did in the story!)
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Although it is a “girl” book, we still very much enjoyed the story. That being said… Zack’s favorite part was when a couple of the neighborhood boys were teasing Posey about the “monster” and snakes that reside in the first-grade hall. Typical boy! 😉
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Posey is a cute and spunky little girl who worries about the new changes that first grade can bring; yet she overcomes them beautifully while keeping in perfect character.
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The best part of all, in our opinion, was after the story itself was completed. Then you get the chance to “interact” with Posey herself in a series of thought-provoking, but fun discussion questions. This book is definitely recommended for kiddos beginning that strange and scary time of changes that a new grade and a new class can bring.
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Today Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade is selling for $4.99.

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Book Report: The Goblin Brothers Adventures – for children and tweens 2 comments

Want a fantasy book that is doesn’t overwhelm you with a long tale? The Goblin Brothers Adventures is seven stories in one book. Same characters, different tales – and all for only 99 cents!
Written by Lindsay Buroker, The Goblin Brothers, Malagach,11, and Gortok, 10, are typical brothers, doing the things that brothers do. But these two are goblins and not your typical goblins. They like to read, tinker and invent, and as boys do, get into tight situations calling for them to use their resources and quick minds. These goblin tales also carry a truth or lesson we can all learn from, such as “Freedom isn’t something other people give you, it’s something you make for yourself.”

The author’s descriptions of the goblin village are so vivid you can almost see the Gortok hiding from the fair-haired humans among the fern frond. Because you see, goblins are not good warriors, nor great hunters but they are good hiders and scavengers. Buy the book, enjoy the tales, besides who can resist those pointy little ears?

Click here to purchase The Goblin Brothers Adventures

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